DRAFT - Minutes

November 2, 2005 - 3:00 PM

Bldg 25 Conference Room



Senate Representatives:  Lottie Bain, Richard Grotegut, Kay Harrison, Alan Kirshner, Bunny Klopping, Victoria Loukianoff, Susan Myers, Nancy Pauliukonis, Tim Roberts, Marge Segraves, Heidi Story, Carolyn Strickler, Teresa Sutowski, and Barbara Tull.


Others present:  Martha Brown, Deb Parziale, Rob Smedfjeld, Brenda Anholtz, Jim Wright, Bob Bradshaw.


1.  Changes to the agenda - none


2. Approval of the Minutes – At the last meeting Susan was unable to save the minutes due to technical difficulty.  The draft minutes distributed to Senators was from memory.  The laptop recovered the minutes from October 19.  Susan will make send a new draft of minutes to Senators for approval.  Item tabled until next meeting.


3. Senate Structure


Currently, Librarians and Instructional Technology faculty are represented, along with Counselors, by Susan.  These faculty were in what was formerly called the LR&IT Division under Shirley Peck.  There is no longer a LR & IT Division.  As of July 1, 2005 the library became part of the Language Arts and Social Sciences Division.  Marilena is awaiting her area's transfer to IT once a new VP is hired.  All five faculty are also represented, for the time being, by the Building One representative.



At the beginning of the semester, Elizabeth Silva contacted Susan to ask about senate representation for these five faculty.  She explained that although  librarians are happy to remain connected to counseling, they were leaning toward full integration within their new division.  Susan discussed this with Barbara, and learned that the Senate will need to restructure when the Newark campus opens next year.   The suggestion Barbara made was to keep representation "as is" this year and to tackle reorganization next year.  Susan shared this with her constituents.  The feedback was that this solution was agreeable.


Motion: To keep current Senate structure and representation.   (M) Kirshner (S) Loukianoff.   Susan asked that if we are going to make a motion, that we do it at the next meeting as she told her constituents that today this would be an information item only.  The motion was withdrawn as we are not changing anything.


This issue raises a larger question - how do we change the structure of the Senate?  Is it in by-laws?  We have a much larger faculty than when we wrote it, we may need more representatives.  In addition, all the organizational restructuring has changed the Senate. 


Motion:   Senate will establish a committee in spring to examine by laws (as they relate to Senate structure and representation) (M) Kirshner (S) Pauliukonis.  Motion approved unanimously.


Marge, Barbara, and Alan volunteered to serve on the committee.


4. Teaching Learning Institute Advisory Board – Brown/Parziale


Title III started October 1.  Deb is Learning Activities Coordinator and Martha is the Director.  They recently had a conversation with Dr. Treadway for definitions of "cohort" and "learning communities".  His feeling is that cohort is group of students in classes together, such as Nursing or Speech Majors.  Learning Communities are more broad.  Part of developing these is to train faculty to develop cohorts or learning communities and giving them extra release time.  There will also be faculty mentors, and we need to find funding for training.  Room 1407 designated for these activities.  There is $8K to pay $1K stipends to faculty to work over the summer but no other funds for training or to put new computers in room 1407. 


Dr. Treadway talked about the development of the Teaching and Learning Institute and the International Education and Environmental Sustainability Institutes.  This would allow donors to give funds or donate equipment to a specific institute.  There is no way we can support these institutes with money from the state.  Doug would also like to develop a huge faculty development fund.  He would like to get this going in the spring.  The sooner we can get money the better.  The Learning College Task Force has been working on developing the Teaching Learning Institute for over a year.  Having a community-based advisory board would facilitate fund-raising.  One of the goals is to increase staff development funds to at least 100K. 


Motion:  We support the idea of developing Institutes at Ohlone and are looking forward to receiving more information about this.  (M) Kirshner.  (S) Story.  Motion approved unanimously.


Rob would like to see some specific language that makes clear that the advisory committee is not making the educational decisions.  Faculty have decision-making power for curriculum.  The word Institute is better in this case than “advisory board”. 


Deb announced that Dr. Treadway would like to have a kick-off event for Title III.  Noreena Badway is going to come spend a day with us and talk about Learning Communities.  Deb would like our feedback to see what we might like to talk about on this day.  Most of the day will be in workshops on developing learning communities or cohorts.  The workshop will be on January 20, the first Friday of the new semester.  Classes can be cancelled to attend. 


5. What is a “D” grade? – Brenda Anholtz, Chair of GE Subcommittee


The General Education Review Committee is considering whether “D” grades should count toward an Associate Degree.  There is a debate about what a “D” is and the committee has asked that the Senate clarify what a “D” means.


Brenda mentioned that we don’t currently have a policy for “D” grades as applicable to AA degree.  Currently the definition of “D” in our catalog is “minimum passing”.  Many faculty aren’t aware of this and treat a "D" as not passing.  We need to address the definition of a “D” in the catalog, especially since many courses require a “C” or better to move to next level.  The fact that Plan A has never had any policy is also problematic.  The subcommittee would like to see Senate address this.  The concern is that our reputation could be called into question because we don’t have a policy.  This month GE subcommittee will make a recommendation this month and it will go to Curriculum Committee


Alan mentioned that it seems that we do have a policy in that our catalog defines a “D” as minimum passing.  It may not be codified, but it seems to be a policy.   Brenda explained that the concern is that someone could graduate from Ohlone with a “D” in English 101A.  The subcommittee want to establish some guidelines.  A Senator asked why we would want to set this type of standard if it could keep someone from graduating.  Brenda explained that the GE Subcommittee does not feel that there should be no “D” grades, but will probably make a recommendation that they shouldn’t be allowed on the "Golden 4", Math, English 101A, Speech, and Critical Thinking, as these four courses are not transferable with a "D" grade.  


Another thing we might want to clear up with the new policy is that many faculty treat “D”s differently.   Some may see it as passing, and others know that a “D” means they have to repeat the course, as with English and Math. A Senator mentioned that "D" has always been minimum passing, even though some Departments have their own standards.  The issue is to educate faculty that “D” means as minimum passing.  The question was raised why would we need two failing grades?  Another person posed the question what does it mean to pass?  We require a “C” or better to get Credit for a Credit/no Credit course.  Brenda’s students are going to research this and will report to the Senate.  Right now the average grade nationally is not a “C”, it is a “B”.  This could be because many students earning "D" and "F" grades drop the class which pushes up the average. 


6. Peer groups and a proposed online evaluation form for faculty. – Bob Bradshaw


Bob wants us to know that different deans require different things for the peer review portion of our evaluation.   For instance, Math & Science faculty were assigned peers who would come in and observe them instead of being given the chance to have a peer review group and do other things.  Some Math faculty wanted to work with faculty from other divisions but weren't given the opportunity to do so. 


Alan explained that faculty used to have peer committees of faculty from different departments.  State law changed and the present UFO contract, which is loosely worded, allowed people within a peer group to determine how they would approach the review process.  Jim mentioned that in the last 4 years, Jim has read over 200 peer evaluations and they are all over the board – just like the policy.  He encourages us all to read the policy before discussing this further. 


Rob thinks it is important to get some clarity to the language because new faculty are stressed out about it.  On the other hand, we need to have loose language, otherwise we aren’t letting faculty deciding how they will evaluate each other.  Alan explained that the idea was to emulate the U.S. constitution – to leave specific detail out.  The more detail we include the more rigid it is.  Rob isn’t saying we need to codify it, just clarify it.  It can be interpreted many different ways.  The suggestion was made to go back and read it and then to revisit it. 


It has been suggested that rather than doing paper evaluations that we email faculty evaluations to students.  Jeff O’Connell set up his own survey through survey monkey and it had very good results.  Student responses were very thoughtful.  Susan raised a question about confidentiality and email.  It was explained that there is a difference between doing email evaluations and online evaluations.  These evaluations would be online.   We can take measures to be sure that the website is secure and that codes can only be used once by a student.  Currently, we do not know what this would cost.  Scantron has also introduced some online evaluations that are being used at Cal State Northridge.  We may want to pilot this with a small group to see how things go.  It was mentioned that for simple classroom assessment, faculty can do whatever they want.  If it has to do with faculty evaluation, we have to do what is in the contract.  A Senator asked hy is there a different form for full-time than for part-time faculty?  We don’t know why.  Bob wanted to discuss this with Senate since we have more regular contact with faculty than UFO does.  Having things like student and peer evaluations online might actually provide some more consistency with how evaluations are done.


7.  President's Update - Tull


Barbara will be attending the Statewide Senate plenary sessions this weekend.  A.A. degrees and what they mean will be discussed. 


The Board meeting was disappointing.  They voted not to sell any land.  All proposals included some sort of sale of land, so now all new proposals will have to be submitted.  This puts Ohlone in a bad light.  Developers spent lots of time and money making presentations in good faith that Ohlone would sell the land.  The Board had agreed to accept RFPs but then decided not to sell.  Bob mentioned that UFO will require the District’s legal opinion on whether or not it is okay to serve on the Board if a Board members no longer live in this area.  Currently two Board members do not live in the Area.  The Senate wants to be part of the Board’s evaluation process.  The evaluation process is supposed to be an open session. 


8.  Announcements


For the last several years Kay has served on the Board of Trustees at the Dominican Sisters College next door.  Kay asked Lisa Waits to take her place last year, but now that

she is gone, we need someone else.  The College offers an A.A. degree in Religious Studies and they just finished their WASC visit.


The Board meets 4 times per year--late afternoon, and they are interested in having an Ohlone person who understands General Education requirements and articulation.  WASC has let them know that they need to articulate their courses with 4 year institutions.  Although the position is on the Board of Trustees it is not an elected position.


Please let Kay know if you are interested.  She also sent out an email announcement to all faculty.


Meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m.


Senators for 2005 - 2006

Building 1 & 5                                                Bunny Klopping

Building 2 & Hyman Hall                               Kay Harrison - Committees Chair                 

Building 4 & Smith Center                             Teresa Sutowski                     

Building 6 & 7                                                Marge Segraves

Building 8                                                       Carolyn Strickler         Rep to CCLC

Building 9 & NOC                                         vacant                                     

Counseling and LR&IT                                  Susan Myers                Secretary

Deaf Studies & Special Services                    Nancy Pauliukonis     

Exercise Science & Wellness                          Lottie Bain                  Treasurer

Fine Arts, Business, & Broadcasting              Janel Tomblin-Brown (Fall)/Tim Roberts (Spring)

Health Sciences                                               Heidi Story

Lang. Arts & Soc. Sci. (English & ESL)        Barbara Tull                President

Lang. Arts & Soc. Sci. (other depts.)             Alan Kirshner

Math, Sci., & Tech. (ASTR, BIOL, BIOT,

CAOT, CHEM, CS, & PHYS)                       Richard Grotegut

Math, Sci., & Tech. (other depts.)                  Victoria Loukianoff